Creating a filter is the easiest way to easily see a group, or segment, of your donors or transactions within Donor Management – without having to go through each individual record to find the information you’re looking for!
Filters can help you see all donations from a particular campaign, or create a list of your contacts who gave to your organization in 2018 – but not 2019. It can even help you determine which of your contacts live in a specific region (such as close to one of your upcoming events), or which donors regularly give over a certain amount.
Getting Started: Filter Types
When you’re looking to create a filter, you’ll want to start by asking yourself one crucial question:
“Do I want to make a list of people? Or do I want to make a list of donations?”
If you’re looking to make a list of people, you’ll want to click on the “Contacts” tab in the navigation on the left side of your screen. Contact filters are most commonly used to answer the question “who” - such as “who donated to this specific campaign?” or “who hasn’t donated in over a year?”
If you’re looking to make a list of donations or individual gifts, you’ll want to instead click on the “Giving” tab. Giving filters most often answer the question “how much” - such as “how much was donated to this specific campaign?” or “how much was raised from out-of-state donors?”
It’s crucial that you ask yourself this question before you begin building a filter, because the filters that you create under “Contacts” will provide very different results than a filter created under “Giving.” There are several identical fields available in both filter types – but run side-by-side, they won’t give you the same results!
For example, we’ll use the same filter under both filter types:
This Contacts filter is set to pull “last donation date > less than or equal to > 2021-01-01.”
By using the Contacts filter, you’re searching for which donors haven’t given since January 1st, 2021. Since there are 22 results, there are 22 donors who have not donated since that 1/1/21 date.
This Giving filter is also set to pull “last donation date > less than or equal to > 2021-01-01" - the same filter we used for the Contacts filter.
By using the Giving filter, you’re instead searching for the list of donations of the donors who haven’t given since January 1, 2021. Since there are 45 results – this means there’s 45 transactions from the 22 donors we found in the Contacts filter who haven’t donated since that 1/1/21 date.
Creating a New Filter
In many cases, you’ll want to create a brand-new filter to pull a specific set of information. Regardless of what filter type you’re creating (Contacts or Giving), you’ll build a new filter using the same tools and similar fields.
You’ll first want to click on the “Create Filter” button, located next to the “Recommended Filters” and “Saved Filters” buttons.
You should then see a box appear labeled “Create a Custom Filter.” You’ll notice that there’s already a template for adding “conditions” (also known as “rules”) to this filter – it should be made up of several drop-down or blank fields.
Looking for a glossary of all of the conditions available to you when you’re building out a new filter? We’ve got a comprehensive list that you can find (and bookmark) here!
You’ll want to start by selecting an option from the first drop-down menu; this will help determine what specific group you’re trying to isolate with this filter. Filters are very customizable, so you’ll have plenty of options to choose from!
Please be sure to check what “sub-group” the condition you are selecting is listed under; there may be two options available from that first drop-down menu that appear to be the same, but fall under a sub-group – and can make it look like the filter you built isn’t working correctly.
Once you’ve selected the first option for your condition, you may notice that the drop-down options for the remaining fields might change – that can sometimes happen, depending on what field you chose in that first menu.
Typically, the second drop-down menu is helping to narrow down your list of results further – it often includes options such as “equals,” “contains,” or “is blank.” Sometimes, the third field disappears entirely, and the only available options for the second drop-down menu are “is true” or “is not true.”
If the third, blank field is available, you’ll typically want to enter a number or value that will help finalize the results of your filter. For example, your filter might be looking to find anyone who donated more than $5 in the prior year – that last blank field should then have the number 5 entered.
If you’re looking to kickstart your reporting, Donor Management has several pre-established “recommended filters” already created for your convenience.
From either the Contacts or Giving pages, you should be able to click on the “Recommended Filters” button. A section should appear on the page that lists the available recommended filters, and you can select the filter that best meets your needs.
You can also build upon these recommended filters to further personalize your results. Once you’ve clicked on the recommended filter you’re looking to modify, and the page has reloaded with the filtered results, you can click on the “Edit Filter” button towards the top of your screen.
This should then open up the filter editing tool. This is where you can see the conditions that the recommended filter already has, as well as add additional conditions as needed!
Looking to use this modified filter again? You can press the white “Save Filter” button on this screen to name and save this filter for future use.
You’ll then be able to find it under the “Saved Filters” tab, between the “Recommended Filters” and “Edit Filter” buttons!